For the first time in 150 years, cows are roaming freely in Wanstead Park as part of a two-month experiment to see if their presence can help improve the grassland.
The animals are wearing GPS trackers which emit a warning sign to the cows when they get near boundaries, avoiding the need for electric fences.
Volunteers are among those who will be keeping an eye on the animals to make sure everything goes smoothly with the trial (including dissuading people from approaching or feeding them).
Graeme Doshi-Smith, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest & Commons Committee, said: “Our grazing pilot is helping us identify better ways to protect Wanstead Park’s historic views at the same time as conserving a wide range of species and supporting an even better ecological balance at the site.
“Grazing is used as a natural way to manage grasslands and meadows across Epping Forest. As part of the programme we have prevented encroachment by scrub and more vigorous grasses in favour or rarer plants and herbs, benefitting a whole range of insects and birds.
“It is exciting to be grazing heritage cattle here in this East London park, right on the edge of our capital city.”